As you may know, the free upgrade to Windows 10 ends on 29 July, just a few days away. So the obvious question we get is should users move ahead with this Windows version or remain with Windows 7.
First, we tend look at this from the network operations level. Windows 7 is stable, Pro versions function very well within the Server environments we have out in the field but most importantly, Windows 7 will continue to get security updates until 14 January 2020. In some cases, the applications you run may not work with Windows 10. For example, certain versions of QuickBooks are incompatible. So the basic analysis is this; if it works, don’t fix it.
Microsoft has posted a deadline date of 31 October of this year for manufacturer sales of Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8.1. After that time, all systems will be sold with Windows 10 as the default. With Windows 7 or 8.1, the only reason to buy upgraded hardware before 2020 would be if your software vendors change things sufficiently that Windows 10 is required to run their software applications and the current unit doesn’t meet vendor specs. If the hardware does meet specs, upgrade software for existing units will run somewhere between $119.00 and $140.00 depending on where and how it gets purchased. Open license or retail purchase will drive the cost of the Operating System software and from what we see right now, most hardware at the client sites will likely be able to run WIN10 with a software upgrade. So, again, the basic analysis is this; don’t spend it until you have to; if it works, don’t fix it.
We run two WIN10 systems in-shop for test and eval purposes. One is a clean load of the OS and the other is an upgraded system. Both of these are Core i7 units with a standard mix of Audio/Video/Network Card configurations. We haven’t had any driver issues with standard Intel platforms but have seen numerous problems with AMD-based hardware and/or under-powered system configurations in general. Since we have universally adopted the Intel platform, we don’t expect specific hardware issues as being a likely problem.
However, one item of concern we have seen is Windows 10 upgrades will flat out break a number of network functions and rolling it back to the previous OS more often than not leaves a lot of broken stuff in its wake, too. At that point, it’s time for a full reload to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and all the work involved in getting the unit back into the network… wasted time, wasted money, wasted effort. If it works, don’t fix it.
If you have any specific questions about your network and upgrading any portion of it, just drop me a note at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get you an answer as quickly as possible.